Monday, January 22, 2018

Caldecott Time

Lessons for the next few weeks will center on the upcoming Caldecott Awards, with a slightly different twist for each grade level. 

To start, I built a new display with all Caldecott Winners and Honor books - we have a lot of them! It's pretty cool to see all the different authors and illustrators who have won over the years, although, I think the competition is much tougher in modern times. I love seeing how books on display fly off the shelves - it gives me motivation to keep coming up with new ideas to showcase different types of books. 

Preview of the books we are reading this week: 

Kindergarteners are simply hearing read alouds of past Caldecott winners. I started with a wordless book, A Ball for Daisy, and they did a fantastic job helping me tell the story. 

1st grade also focused on wordless books, and they heard two different stories that we compared and contrasted, also A Ball for Daisy and Mr. Wuffles (not to be confused with Mr. Waffles!). 

I am trying something new with 2nd and 3rd grades - a full Mock Caldecott Award activity. Taking inspiration from Mr. Schu Reads, I procured all 21 of his titles from my public library and put together a mock ballot for my students. After a quick overview of the Caldecotts and the criteria that the judges use to choose the award-winners, we dove right into the first 3 books: Red & Lulu, Windows, and The Book of Mistakes. I think time and attention spans will preclude me from reading aloud all 21, but I have picked 10 that I really like and I'm crossing my fingers the winner comes from one the ones I chose. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to conclude the voting...stay tuned! 

4th grade is starting its big state research project soon, so I didn't want to commit to a 3-4 week Caldecott project so I adapted accordingly. We read last year's winner, Radiant Child, and then reviewed the 4 criteria Caldecott judges use to make their decisions. They then each selected a Caldecott winner from my display, read it, and answered the 4 questions based on their critical thinking. We are going to further work with their selected books next week. 

5th grade - no surprise - Passion Projects! This week I have made sure to personally visit each student and check their progress. There's a wide range of activity, so it's going to take some creative thinking to move some students along, while also providing extension activities for those who are closer to being done. 

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